Give your homemade bread baking skills a whimsical twist by making this Whole Wheat Rudolph Bread Nosed Reindeer. Or, use store-bought frozen bread dough and follow the instructions for forming and shaping. Either way, your family, and friends will be delighted to see Rudolph making an appearance at the holiday table!
While this Whole Wheat Rudolph Bread Nosed Reindeer may look tricky to recreate, let me assure you, he is easier to make than you may think. Since bread dough is completely pliable, you can shape, squeeze, and mold it, much like your childhood favorite playdough!
If you’re a frequent reader of my blog, then you know that I like to play with my food, I love to paint, and I love color! This Whole Wheat Rudolph Bread Nosed Reindeer is a prime example of that. This holiday season, I’ve been all about painting pie crust, and bread dough. However, last year is the year I really broke out of my bread box with this Charming Buttermilk Honey Santa Bread. To this day, he’s still one of my favorites. This Santa bread is the one that made the biggest impression on my family last Christmas Eve when he joined us at the table for dinner. Ho Ho Ho!
I seriously can’t help myself. I just adore playing with my food, especially around the holidays! Do you see any parallels between what I’ve been doing here? Of course, you do. I’m pretty much living out my childhood, through my food (and art). In many ways, you can say that I’ve never grown up, and I refuse to. Why start now? Case in point my Grinch Guacamole Appetizer.
Just imagine serving all three of these whimsical dishes for your next holiday dinner party. You’ll be the talk of the town, and you’ll no doubt have made memories for your family and friends that will live on for years to come!
Now, even though I’ve shown this Whole Wheat Rudolph Bread Nosed Reindeer in fabulous technicolor, you certainly can make and serve him in his own brown and rustic form, sans color. He’ll still be just as cute, and just as delicious. Ditto goes for the Santa bread. It’s completely your call if you want to add color, or not. I only urge you to make them as I know you’ll be delighted with what you can produce with just a little bit of extra effort.
I’ve taken a ton of step-by-step photos to help you learn through visual tips and techniques for the making of this Rudolph bread. I know you’ll find the photos helpful. But feel free to use your own creativity if you’d like to break out and do your own thing. I totally applaud your style!
Let’s begin baking.
*Please note – The rise time for this bread is quite long due to the use of the whole wheat flour and the density of this dough. Please plan accordingly. This technique for forming Rudolph can be used with any of your favorite bread doughs, and even store-bought frozen bread dough, which has been thawed according to the package directions.
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 2 cups of bread flour, 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1½ teaspoons kosher salt. Switch to the dough hook and add 1 cup warm water (110 degrees, i.e. warm to the touch), plus 2 to 4 additional tablespoons water (depending on the humidity).
Continue kneading with the dough hook for 4-5 minutes. Turn the dough ball out onto the counter and knead by hand an additional 2-3 minutes. Oil the inside of the bowl with olive oil and return the kneaded dough back to the bowl and coat the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a warm, draft free place for the dough to double in volume (approximately 2-3 hours).
Once the dough has doubled in volume, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two pieces. One piece should be approximately 2/3’s and the other approximately 1/3.
Take the larger piece of dough and flatten it out into a triangle shape to form Rudolph’s head. Don’t be afraid to press and push the dough to get the desired shape. Place the triangle on a parchment lined baking sheet. Press out the remaining 1/3 of the dough into a flatted semi-circle shape.
Use a knife of a bench scraper to cut a log of dough off the long side of the semi-circle. Cut this log dough in half. These will be the antlers. Dip each log dough tip into a bit of water (the water helps to attach the pieces of dough) and place each antler piece under the head of the reindeer.
Use a small paring knife to make cuts into the antlers. Return back to the remaining dough and cut a log from the long side, and divide in half for his ears.
From each half, cut a tiny equal piece for the eyes. Roll each piece for his eyes to form two small, round balls. *Note – a touch of extra water may be helpful to roll the balls without having too many creases, and make them smoother (if required). Form the ear pieces into a pointy end, and flatten until you get your desired shape. Dip the end of the ear piece in water…
…and attach the ear pieces to the head of the reindeer and press firmly to attach. Place water on the base of the head where you’ll be attaching the muzzle. With the last piece of remaining dough, break off a piece large enough for Rudolph’s red nose and roll into a ball (using extra water to make the ball smoother, if needed). Press the final piece of dough into a tear drop shape…
…and lay the muzzle onto the bottom portion of the head shape, pressing firmly (yet lightly, so no finger marks show) onto the head. Attach his eyes and nose using a small amount of water and press to attach. Allow the reindeer to rise in a warm draft free place for at least 60 minutes.
Brush Rudolph with a simple egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water) and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for until he turns golden brown and sounds hallow when tapped (approximately 25-30 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool completely on a rack before adding color (optional).
As I said, if you’d rather not add color to your reindeer after he’s baked, he’s still cute and still delicious. But, if you do decide to add color, I was on Facebook live last week with a quick seven minute video which illustrates the technique I used to bring him to life with only three colors and a little bit of water. I’m still new to the world of live videos so I apologize in advance that this video was filmed on its side. Doh! In any case, I hope you’ll enjoy watching…
The following Amazon.com items are some suggested products I’ve chosen that will aid you in the making (and serving) of this recipe for Whole Wheat Rudolph Bread Nosed Reindeer, if needed. By clicking on the item, you’ll be taken directly to Amazon.com if you’re interested in purchasing any of these products. You are in no way required to do so, and you will not be charged in any way unless you decide to purchase a product through Amazon.
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup warm water 110 degrees plus 3-4 additional tablespoons depending on humidity.
- olive oil
To make the dough:
Place the first 5 ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Whisk to combine.
Gradually add the warm water and use the dough hook to knead the dough into a ball.
*Note - if the dough seems to dry, add additional warm water 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed.
Continue kneading with the dough hook for 4-5 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Return the dough back into the bowl which has been oiled with olive oil.
Place a thin coat of oil on top of the bread ball.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in volume (approximately 2-3 hours).
Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and follow with the photo tutorial instructions for forming, and coloring the Whole Wheat Rudolph Bread Nosed Reindeer found here:
Believe me when I tell you that I feel blessed to do what I love to do every single day, and I’m very grateful to be able to share it all with you. From my hand painted glassware and fabrics to my recipes, the fact that you come here to spend a little bit of time with me really makes me aware of the fact that…
I do hope you feel the same. My shops (Etsy and Wazala) are closed through the end of the year. I’ll be reopening again in the very beginning of 2017. Thank you all for your patronage. It has been an extreme pleasure to serve you, and I look forward to bringing you exciting new ideas and designs in the coming new year!
Kudos Kitchen by Renée ~ Where food, art, and fun collide each and every day!
Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!
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